Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

Convict Ship Andromeda - 1830

Embarked 180 men
Voyage 112 days
Deaths 8
Surgeon's Journal - Yes
Tons: 408 Crew: 33 men
Previous vessel: Florentia arrived 15 December 1830
Next vessel: Burrell arrived 19 December 1830
Master Robert Parkin.
Surgeon Superintendent George Fairfowl
Follow the Irish Convict Ship Trail
Prisoners and passengers of the Andromeda identified in the Hunter Valley region

The Andromeda transported convicts to Van Diemen's Land in 1826 and to New South Wales in 1830, 1833 and 1834. [4]

Between the months of 1 January 1830 and 1 January 1831, six ships departed Ireland with approximately 850 prisoners bound for New South Wales......

Forth (I), Forth (II) (females), Hercules, Andromeda, Edward and the Waterloo

The Return of the Number of Convicts Transported from Ireland to New South Wales between those dates reveals that the prisoners had been held in the following three prisons:

Hulk Surprise (334 convicts), located at Cork
Hulk Essex (400 convicts) located at Dublin
Cork Penitentiary (females) (120 convicts).
The total of 854 prisoners noted in the Return is a little short of Charles Bateson total in The Convict Ships (845), but is close and may not account for those who were rejected by the surgeon as being too ill to survive the voyage.

Surgeon George Fairfowl

George Fairfowl kept a medical journal from 30th June 1830 to 31st December 1831..........

On the 30th June 1830, I was appointed to the convict transport the Andromeda taken up to carry 180 male convicts from Cork to New South Wales, and joined her the same day. The guard embarked next morning and on the 10th of July the ship moved down the river on her way to Cork where she arrived on 30th. During the passage the ship's steward was taken ill with small pox, but no unpleasant consequences resulted from it. He was sent on shore as soon as the ship anchored.

The examination of the convicts took place on board the hulk in the presence of the Superintendent of Convicts and surgeon of the hulk. It (the examination) is very unsatisfactory, for the men being anxious to get away, and the surgeon equally anxious to get rid of bad or troublesome cases both the parties from whom the naval surgeon expects to receive information are interested to conceal any symptoms of disease. While the squalid looks of the generality of Irish convicts at least of all those on board of the hulk while I was there, make it difficult from the mere look to discriminate so as to pick out every case of sickness. Many therefore were approved who ought never to have been brought forward for examination and even some of those whom I had rejected were embarked - a piece of disingenuity not found out until too late to be remedied. In a few days the numerous daily applications for medicine taught me to anticipate a sickly voyage. For the first six weeks we had no prevailing disease, although a vast number of cases were on the daily sick list. The most numerous were bowel complaints.[3]
In August Edward Tyne from Tipperary was found to be ill with fever. He was sent on shore and a deserter William Kershaw was sent in his stead. [1]

Convicts Embarked

The Morning Post reported on 28 April 1830 about some of the prisoners who were embarked on the Andromeda...

The Doneraile Conspiracy ......... Yesterday evening, at four o'clock, twenty five convicts from the County Gaol were escorted by a small party of the Scots Greys to the Waterloo steamer, lying at Merchants' Quay, to be conveyed to the Hulk Surprise at Cove, preparatory to transportation to new South Wales, for which purpose the vessels are shortly expected in our harbour. John Leary, Lynch, Magrath, Shine and Roche, the men convicted of the conspiracy at Donneraile, were of the number. They were all in the prison dresses, grey jackets and trousers, with leather caps. Leary, who was a respectable looking old man, of about seventy years had a fur cap on; previous to his going below in the vessel he took farewell of his daughters and one of his sons, during which he wept bitterly. It was afterwards ascertained that they had permission to go with him to the convict vessel at Cove, which afforded him some satisfaction. The other men did not say a word, except Shine, who made some protestations of his innocence, at the conclusion of which he looked around and said 'Farwell old Ireland for ever' and then went below. Shortly after the vessel proceeded down the river, amidst the lamentations of their friends.[2]

Military Guard

The Guard consisted of a detachment of 17th regiment., five women, nine children under commanding Officer Captain Charles Forbes and Ensign John Rose Holden.

Cabin Passengers

Cabin Passengers D.A.C.G. Joseph Hazard, wife and four children.

Leaving Ireland

The Andromeda departed from Cork with 180 male prisoners on 28 August 1830.

The Voyage

After six weeks the prisoners began to suffer dysentery and this continued for the rest of the voyage. George Fairfowl could not accommodate all the men in his hospital which was already partly occupied by men with chronic diseases who should not have been embarked. He was obliged to allow many suffering dysentery to remain in the prison where they had to care for themselves, a process he had little faith in.

The circumstance of ill-conceived sanitary arrangements also added to the illness on board - Formerly these ships were fitted with water closets which having a constant supply of water, could be kept clean and wholesome all the 24 hours. In this ship these were exchanged for large iron buckets with covers loosely fitted, which could not be emptied and cleaned out during the whole night and notwithstanding every care that could be taken by having them emptied every night at ten o'clock washed clean and rinsed with a solution of chloride of lime, taken out of the prison early in the morning and kept upon deck all day with the exception of one which was indispensable for the out hospital sick, the prison was often a most offensive nuisance to a person coming from the fresh air. [3]

Port Jackson

The Andromeda arrived in Port Jackson with 172 prisoners on 18 December 1830. Altogether eight convicts had died, four of them from dysentery.

Convict Muster

The Colonial Secretary Alexander Macleay mustered the prisoners on board on arrival in the colony. Twelve were later sent to the hospital in Sydney.

Notes and Links

1). Fifty-two men who arrived on the Andromeda have been identified residing in the Hunter region in the following years. Select here to find more about Hunter Valley convicts / passengers

2). George Fairfowl returned to England on the Sovereign in February 1830.......

Procellaria Capensis - This beautiful, but well-known petrel, was, of course, our constant companion on all occasions of our being at sea, and was particularly numerous off the entrance to the river Plata, feeding probably upon the exuviae that drift out with the current. One being taken with the hook, was killed, and in its entrails several small fragments of granite were found mixed with the half-digested food. A remarkable instance of the natural habits of this bird has lately come to my knowledge, which deserves to be recorded. The late Mr. George Fairfowl, surgeon R.N., on his return from New South Wales, in the year 1831, caught one of these birds, and let it go, with a ribbon tied round the body, by which it was easily distinguished; the bird was thereby observed to follow the ship, from day to day, for the space of 5,000 miles. ......Proceedings of the first expedition, 1826-1830, under the command of Captain P. Parker King

3). George Fairfowl was also Surgeon on the convict ships Ocean in 1818, Dromedary in 1820, Woodman in 1823, Royal Charlotte in 1825, Asia in 1827 (VDL), Sovereign in 1829, Clyde in 1832 and the Hive in 1834.

4). Limerick Assizes Monday March 15 - William Shelton for stealing 20 yards of linen from the shop of Mr. Abbott in Rutland street. The prisoner pleaded guilty and the Court sentenced him to three months imprisonment. Some time after he thus addressed the Court - Prisoner - I think you may as well transport me at once, my lord, for I won't be a week out, when I'll be in gaol again; and I'd rather be transported than two months in gaol. Court - Who is this person? Prisoner - I am Shelton my lord Court - I think I may satisfy him. He was then ordered to be transported for seven years. - Freemans Journal March 18 1830.

5). Limerick Assizes Monday March 15 - Nicholas Hayes and John Nolan were indicted for the wilful murder of Patrick Byrne, on the night of Saturday the 6th of March 1830. They were found guilty and sentenced to transportation for life. Freeman's Journal 18 March 1830.

6). Clonmel Assizes - Curious Case - Thomas Tuohy and William Costigan were given in charge for a burglary and robbery in the house of the Rev. Alex. Hoops, rector of Newchapel. Rev. A. Hoops sworn - I am a Clergyman residing in this county - on Sunday evening November 3 about half past five o'clock (the dishes not having been removed from the dinner table), I heard a noise below stairs; the dog was barking; almost immediately my kitchen maid was forced into the parlour by five men,, two of whom were disguised, and four were armed; of any of the party I had no previous knowledge, but now know one off the - William Costigan one of the prisoners; (he was here identified). He it was who had the short gun; a demand for fire-arms was made; I told them I had none; one off the party, addressing the man who persisted in saying that I had fire arms, said, why don't you take the gentleman's word? They then commenced a search but before they did so, I was assured by one of them that if I had 10,000 pounds in the house, a penny of it would not be touched Court - Were they in earnest? - (laughter). Had you 10,000 pounds in your possession? Witness - II should be glad I had, my Lord, but not for their use; they proceeded with me up-stairs, but used no violence; I opened all my drawers, but they discovered no arms; they then come down stairs, and in the drawing room one of the party asked me for money; I told them I had but 30s in my possession; Costigan, the prisoner, spoke rather roughly, and said, I must have more; I handed them the 30s note, soon after which they went away. I then directed the house to secured; about a quarter of an hour having elapsed, one of my servants came up stairs and told me the party were at the door and they wanted to come in again; directed the door to be opened ; three men now entered, and demanded whiskey; I opened the garde-du-vin, and while in the act of giving them a decanter of sprits one of the party approached the head of the dinner table and helped himself to one of the dishes; the cook also helped him after which he partook of some turkey (laughter) the remainder of which he afterwards took up and put it under his coat (laughter) I now handed them the whiskey, but they said they did not wish to put me to the expense of a decanter, and that a black bottle would answer them just as well; before they went off they observed that I was a good fellow (laughter). The prisoners were identified by several other witnesses and sentenced to transportation. - Belfast Newsletter 9 April 1830

7). Return of Convicts of the Andromeda assigned between 1st January 1832 and 31st March 1832 (Sydney Gazette 14 June 1832; 28 June 1832).....
Dennis Connor - Painter and glazier assigned to Robert Campbell M.C., Sydney
Dennis Connor - Painter and glazier assigned to Francis Allman at Maitland
John Keife - Ploughs. Assigned to J.K. Hume at Appin
James Lawler - Farm boy assigned to Duncan Forbes Mackay at Williams River
Daniel Slattery - Labourer assigned to William Lithgow at Sydney

8). Convict Ships bringing detachments of the 17th regiment........

Dunvegan Castle departed Sheerness 30 September 1829 - Lieut. John Grey

Katherine Stewart Forbes departed Spithead 14 October 1829 - Major Fairtclough 63rd regt.,

Mermaid departed Sheerness 5 December 1829- Lieutenant Isaac Blackburn

Forth 1 departed Cork 1 January 1830 - Captain James Oliphant Clunie

Nithsdale departed Sheerness 1 January 1830 - Captain Robert G. Moffatt

Lady Feversham departed Portsmouth 8 April 1830 - Lieutenant Harvey 29th regt.,

Marquis of Huntley departed Sheerness 9 April 1830 Lieutenant Watson 20th regt.,

Adrian departed Portsmouth 27 April 1830 - Ensign Reynolds

Lord Melville departed the Downs 6 June 1830 - Lieutenant Robert Graham

Hercules departed Dublin 3 July 1830 - Major J.W. Bouverie

Royal Admiral departed Portsmouth 5 July 1830 - Captain John Church

Burrell departed Plymouth 27 July 1830 - Captain John Alexander Edwards

Andromeda departed Cork 28 August 1830 - Captain Charles Forbes

York departed Sheerness 4 September 1830- Lieut-Col. Henry Despard

Edward departed Cork 17 October 1830 - Captain Deeds

Eliza II departed Cork 10 May 1832 - Lieutenant Hewson 4th regiment


[1] State Records. Musters and other papers relating to convict ships. Series CGS 1155, Reels 2417-2428. (Ancestry)

[2] The Morning Post (London, England), Wednesday, April 28, 1830; Issue 18526. 19th Century British Library Newspapers: Part II

[3] Medical Journal of George Fairfowl on the voyage of the Andromeda in 1830, UK, Royal Navy Medical Journals, 1817-1857 The National Archives. Kew, Richmond, Surrey.

[4] Bateson, Charles Library of Australian History (1983). The Convict Ships, 1787-1868 (Australian ed). Library of Australian History, Sydney : pp.348-349, 386